Gov. Scott Walker announced that he has appointed Dave Ross to serve as secretary of the state Department of Transportation, succeeding Mark Gottlieb.
[caption id="attachment_158592" align="alignright" width="431"] New Department of Transportation Secretary Dave Ross and Gov. Scott Walker today at the Executive Residence in Maple Bluff.[/caption]
Gottlieb, who was appointed by Walker in December 2010, has resigned from the role effective Jan. 6, and Ross will begin Jan. 7. A former Port Washington mayor, Gottlieb served in the state Assembly from 2002 to 2011, when he resigned to take the DOT role.
Ross currently serves as secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services. He previously served two terms as mayor of Superior, and before that, was self-employed in upholstery. Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
“Dave Ross has been an outstanding leader for our administration at the DSPS since 2011,” Walker said. “Dave has always looked to improve the way government operates, and I am confident he will bring the same innovative, taxpayer-first approach to the DOT.”
“I thank Gov. Walker for placing his trust in me to run the DOT,” Ross said. “I look forward to hitting the ground running and continuing to serve as a strong taxpayer advocate for Gov. Walker in this new role.”
State Assembly speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released a statement about the leadership change:
“Wisconsin is losing one of our most hardworking and articulate public leaders. During his tenure, Secretary Gottlieb transformed the Department of Transportation, made it more efficient and saved taxpayers more than $1.5 billion in the process. On behalf of the Wisconsin State Assembly, I would like to thank Secretary Gottlieb for his service to our state as a local elected official, legislator and agency secretary.
“As we’re set to begin the 2017-’18 legislative session and make the tough but prudent decisions regarding the state budget, Secretary Gottlieb’s expertise and candor will be missed.
“I had the pleasure of serving with Mark in the Assembly for six years and found him to be honest, well-spoken and very intelligent. I want to wish him and his wife Linda the very best and hope they can now spend more time with their family.”
Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation provided data showing Wisconsin roads were among the worst in the nation.
Walker has ruled out significant increases in state-collected revenue for the state’s struggling highway and road system in the 2017-’19 state budget.
Gottlieb said that means a delay in major road construction and upkeep on all but the state’s most-traveled roads. Some Republicans have complained about the delay in needed road projects.